Friday, September 17th, 2021

A former Nintendo employee participates in the “Holy Grail”, meets heroes, and keeps a card worth $10,000-Feature


image: Rob A

Recently, a reader contacted us and provided detailed information about the treasure they found-an extremely rare Kirby e-reading card, specially made for the 2002 E3 live game.Not only is it a limited-edition card specially made for industry events nearly 20 years ago, but also return An example of the first prize (of which only 10 were produced), it miraculously escaped the destruction of the Nintendo performance representative, responsible for ensuring that the prize cannot be redeemed twice.

The card came from a package that had never been opened, and it ended up in the hands of a lucky former Nintendo employee. Rob A recently auctioned e-reader cards, and the winning bid was $10,600.

After the auction, we were fortunate to talk to Rob about this incredible discovery-learn more about the story behind the card, how he made sure to save it before selling it, and glimpse some of the other treasures that the former NOA employee had collected over the years …


The Kirby card (upper left corner) and other cards discovered by Rob, as well as the first and second prizes of E3 2002, participants have a chance to win
The Kirby card (upper left corner) and other cards discovered by Rob, as well as the first and second prizes of E3 2002, participants have a chance to win (image: Rob A)

Nintendo Life: First of all, can you tell us about the background of how you originally owned this card? Did you participate in E3 2002?

Rob A: The card finally appeared on me purely by accident. Over the years, we have collected/stored a lot of things at Nintendo. During the renovation of one of the buildings, we were asked to clean up and throw away many old cabinets dating back to the 1980s, including original replacement manuals, training materials, and old supplies from agents dating back to the game consultant era. In addition to these things, I must streamline the old system and the stolen goods collected. As a fan, I feel a little ashamed at the thought of destroying any of them.

Anyway, I asked if I could keep something… Among them were a few boxes of old brochures and loose cards. My best guess is that the loot returned to my group from E3, just idle, destined to be thrown away or discovered. I am grateful that it was discovered because I hate unsolved mysteries.

You have obviously owned this card for a while, but probably only recently opened it. how come?

After I left, many things were kept in a box in my garage until I started cleaning and organizing them a week or so before I found the card. Except for an unopened package, everything else is loose. Sitting in a pile of Mario Party and Animal Crossing e-readers and various cards.

When you scanned the card and found that it was the first winner, what was your first thought? Do you immediately know its importance?

I know the importance of bags, but I didn’t start using loose bags until the weekend. Immediately, I went upstairs to joke my wife…like I had won. I have three cards, so when I tell her these cards, I plan to pretend that I won on the second card…

My arm froze. The image pops up and jingle sounds. I think I won just like 2002.I say “My God, my dear, this is the real first card.” At that moment, I knew that I was the only person who had listened to this song in the past 20 years.

Once you have determined what you have, when you decide what to do with it, how do you ensure that the card will not be accidentally damaged?

In order to answer many people’s questions… the data has been properly archived.Because the first thing I thought about was… if I sell this, it may never see the light again

I contacted several protectionists and asked how to deal with it.Then i did video So I can stop brushing it. Then I blocked it. In order to answer many people’s questions… the data has been properly archived. Because the first thing that comes to my mind is…If I sell this, it may never see the light of day again, that would be very sad.

The second question is “Why sell?” It’s simple…I like e-readers, but I am not a collector of these e-readers. I have a small sample, but I prefer games.

You ended up selling the card on eBay rather than through an auction house-what was the reason behind this decision?

I contacted Heritage and another popular auction area and provided them with information. Heritage replied to me saying “no” because there is actually no historical record and I need at least 10k valuation to submit. If I have more things, they will consider it. Considering the cost of preparing it and their sales cost, I have conducted an auction and decided to leave luck to opportunity.

I was criticized for not getting more, but the value depends on how much people are willing to pay. If someone kills it later, I actually don’t even know that I own it… Perspective is important, and I know someone values ​​it.

We are convinced that the postage of such a small, high-value item will definitely cause headaches! What kind of delivery service did you end up using (or just receive the goods)?

I paid the postage for the winner. Shipped in 1 day, heavy insurance. Signs and photographs of packaging, tape, and delivery scans are required. UPS has no chance to try interesting ones.

Scan Kirby E3 2002 e-reader card
image: Rob A

Before selling, you have taken steps to ensure that the card is preserved. Can you tell us who you contacted and the process involved?

save [in collaboration with community-driven non-profit Hit Save] Including high-quality scans on both sides and measuring color values ​​to make sure everything is normal. When the scanner was by my side, we also kept some other cards and some packaging. Since I have a background in printed materials, I can easily handle it myself, but there are actual data on these cards. I also consulted some other people to make sure they are satisfied with it.

What about the other “smaller” cards in the E3 2002 package? Are there other high-value Nintendo items in your collection?

I will sell another pack, and then I will commemorate this event in my collection [see the WaveBird, Pokémon GBA and e-Reader card layout further up the page].

I collected some holy grails through garage sales and internal auctions. Something very important to me and my wife. A sealed and original NES Stack-Up, a valid Superbrite logo, a Punch-Out shadow box with green boxing gloves signed by Reggie and Don… Gold Famicom Punch Out cart… .Complete Virtual Boy and the United States lineup.

The important part of the Nintendo system I collected is the shell made for the system. I also collected all the Famicom systems and peripherals in the box… and a good rainbow game.I often play my Famicom and have a carefully repaired and modified RetrofitThe colors on the CRT and the absence of jailbars are amazing.

So yes, something similar.

This card sells for more than $10,000-do you have a cash plan?

As for money… I have two teenagers and a two-year-old child. I need 40 more cards to get through. Of course, my wife deserves something great. She supported me in collecting arcade and Nintendo merchandise like everyone else.

Do you regret selling cards? Do you have any Nintendo-related items that you are reluctant to throw away?

Like I said before, I really didn’t know I had this a few weeks ago. I know the people around me make their thoughts go crazy…but I feel very lucky that I can hold this card, feel the excitement, and learn more about this card and the stories around it…Archive…and The excitement of finally watching the auction. If it only sells for $500, that is it.

I have seen and experienced a lot of great things while working in this industry, I will never forget, this is part of it. This is an amazing industry, and many people take this opportunity for granted. Many journeys of childhood and adulthood are completed in it, and I must participate in it.

"This is equivalent to a card... My heroes came to my Switch demo station in New York... MK8D before any fan could see the Switch in my airline seat." -Rob interacts with Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto
“This is equivalent to a card… My heroes came to my Switch demo station in New York…MK8D before any fan could see the Switch in my plane seat…MK8D.”-Rob and Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto interact (image: Rob A)

Thank you very much Rob for taking the time to talk to us and share his impressive Nintendo collection and memories.